More fruits and veggies

Butte County is encouraging low-income families to shop at farmers’ markets

In an effort to encourage shopping at local farmers' markets on a regular basis, Butte County Public Health has increased the frequency with which families enrolled in its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program are provided cash vouchers for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables.

WIC is a program for low-income, pregnant and postpartum women and children up to age 5. Participants receive nutrition education, breastfeeding support and monthly checks for purchasing food at certain grocers, according to a Public Health press release. Previously, families were also provided a $20 voucher once a year to shop at farmers' markets through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). Now, mothers participating in WIC will receive $10 each month, while each child will receive $8, to be used at local farmers' markets.

The program also stands to direct money toward the farming community. Last year, FMNP generated about $17,000 for local farmers.